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Advantages of Metaverse | Disadvantages of Metaverse

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of Metaverse, its working and use cases. It mentions benefits or advantages of Metaverse and drawbacks or disadvantages of Metaverse.

What is Metaverse ?

The term "Metaverse" is composed of two words viz. meta (meaning beyond) and verse (derived from universe). It is the new 3D virtual universe which extends our physical world. Metaverse is made up of several virtual worlds, each having different themes and purposes. Various companies are promoting metaverse which include Meta Platforms Inc. (Previously known as Facebook Inc.), Microsoft, Apple, NVIDIA, Epic Games, Decentraland, Unity software, Roblox, Autodesk, Qualcomm etc.

Metaverse is basically a concept of virtual world in which people can share 3D environments called digital space. Here users or participants use their avatars and can talk, work, play, teach and learn using digital currencies or tokens. Avatar refers to 3D character of yourself in digital world or space. Tools such as MetaHuman Creator developed by Unreal engine help to create digital human equivalent of yourself which look pretty much like you.

There are two main building blocks in metaverse viz. assets and currencies powered by blockchain technology. In addition to this, one requires VR/AR/MR headset. VR (Virtual Reality) offers 360 degree immersive environment and AR (Augmented reality) augments 3D elements with real world. MR refers to mixed reality. Holographic projections and holographic eyewears are used by the participants in Metaverse.

Assets are represented using NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens) and crypto-currencies are equivalent to money in our world. NFTs are non-interchangeable units of data in blockchain. NFTs provide ownership for digital assets in virtual world. NFTs can be sold and purchased outside of the world in which you have purchased them. Every virtual world can have its own native crypto-currency which can be converted to other crypto-currencies or to our physical world currencies as per real world conversion rates. The figure depicts user with his/her requirements to use the blockchain powered metaverse. As shown user requires mobile or laptop, VR/AR headset, digital currency and compatible platform to start using metaverse.

Metaverse requirements

Metaverse is used in different domains which include healthcare, sports, long distance education, social communication, entertainment, traveling, fitness, retail, Work from home (WFH) etc. The applications or use cases of Metaverse are as follows.
• Real estate : Marketplaces in virtual world such as 'Decentraland' helps to buy, sell and develop virtual plots of land. MANA token is used as cryptocurrency of this platform. Current price of 1 MANA equals about $2.618 which changes similar to currencies in our physical world.
• Education : One can feel similar to real classroom along with colleagues and friends in schools or colleges.
• Work : Colleagues can meet, interact and discuss as if they are in the same room or space.
• Events : Virtual events or conferences can be organised using NextMeet, VRXtream etc.
• Healthcare : Imparts consultations, training and counselling to medical students with the help of holographic model. Hospitals use MR platforms to help paramedics.
• Retail : Virtual shopping stores offer best shopping experience without visiting the store physically. Shoppers can visit the store virtually and buy the items of choice.
• Social media : One can meet friends and share the same space. They can have fun together by playing games and watching movies of their choice.
• Fitness : Solutions are available for runners to make use with the help of AR glasses.

Advantages of Metaverse

Following are the benefits or advantages of Metaverse:
➨Metaverse is massively scaled and interoperable network of multiple virtual worlds used by unlimited number of users.
➨It creates more demand for goods and services and hence helps in creation of jobs for developers, designers and creators.
➨Metaverse requires heavy processing and huge demands of data. This creates demand for semiconductors and sensors in headsets such as Ultrasonic sensor, infrared sensor, force sensor, strain sensor, motion sensor etc.
➨Individual technologies used in metaverse will become efficient in their own domains. This delivers better results and opportunities for all the stakeholders.
➨It provides boost to e-commerce and virtual economy. Customers can interact with merchants and merchandises. Cryptocurrencies and NFTs will become more popular and their usage will increase.
➨Metaverse upgrades social media platforms such as facebook and twitter.
➨Metaverse is compatible with blockchain technology. Hence it can be used for several applications with the help of digital currencies.

Disadvantages of Metaverse

Following are the limitations or drawbacks or disadvantages of Metaverse:
➨It requires faster and reliable internet connection with the help of fiber based connection and 5G wireless network.
➨VR or MR headsets are essential requirements of the metaverse to provide real immersion experience to the users. These headsets are very expensive and it is difficult to afford by average users. It will take some time for it to become affordable by common users.
➨Metaverse requires access to relevant digital tools. Hence poor families and communities will not enjoy its benefits until they are available at affordable rates.
➨There is a huge disparity between real world and virtual world. This often leads to psychological disorders to the users such as stress, trauma etc.
➨VR/MR headsets give headache, if worn for longer duration (~ 30 minutes). Moreover it gives strain to eyes and motion sickness to the user.
➨The headset devices are heavy in weight.
➨Metaverse leads to privacy threat and data theft due to internet use.
➨People leave in actual world and it takes time for them to become accustomed to the new virtual worlds to get benefits of the metaverse.
➨Present AR/MR headsets are less competitive compare to mobile phones.
➨Animation quality offered at this moment is not so good and it will take sometime for it to become popular.

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